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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Opinions on contracts: draft agreements and umberella agreements

An accountant or agency may ask for an opinion to be given on a standard contract to be used by a number of their clients. You should not agree to give an opinion in such circumstances. The opinion on a particular contract will depend upon the precise terms and conditions of the particular engagement in question and personal factors may also have to be taken into account.

You should also not give opinions on framework agreements. These are agreements that set out the terms and conditions that will apply at some future date should the two parties enter into a working relationship. They are not contracts in their own right. Any opinion will depend upon the actual contractual relationship when a binding agreement is entered into.

Where you are asked for an opinion in such circumstances you should decline to do so. However, you should explain that the IR35 Unit would be prepared to give an opinion on a particular contract, which may be based upon the model or umbrella agreement, once it is in force.